April 17, 2015
Contact: SA Debbie Webber
Phone Number: (504) 840-1100
Northwest Arkansas Man Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison On Four Drug Trafficking Offenses
FORT SMITH, Ark. - Drug Enforcement (DEA) Assistant Special Agent in Charge David Downing and Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Fernando Canales-Mendoza, 52, a Mexican citizen living in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, was sentenced today to 120 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for two counts of Distribution of Methamphetamine, one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute more than 50 grams of Methamphetamine, and one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine. Mendoza was originally indicted by a federal grand jury in September, 2014 and found guilty in February, 2015 following a two day jury trial. The Honorable Robert T. Dawson presided over both the trial and today’s sentencing in the United States District Court in Fort Smith.
U.S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “With this sentence, another positive step has been taken to assure that the families, especially children, in Carroll County can live in a community free of illegal drug trafficking and the violence and other crime that comes with it. Our office will continue to aggressively prosecute those responsible for bringing methamphetamine and other drugs into the Western District of Arkansas.”
According to evidence presented to the jury, on April 30, 2014, as part of an ongoing investigation, an undercover agent with the Drug Enforcement (DEA) purchased one ounce of methamphetamine from the defendant, Canales-Mendoza, in his home in exchange for $1,400.00, and was provided an additional ounce to be paid for at a later time. On May 7, 2014, the undercover agent paid the defendant $1,500.00 for that ounce, and purchased an additional ounce of methamphetamine for $1,400.00. On August 27, 2014, the undercover agent met with the defendant again, and requested an additional four ounces of methamphetamine. The defendant then showed the undercover agent approximately three to three and a half ounces of methamphetamine he did have, which prompted the agent to respond that he would leave in order to get additional funds to purchase the methamphetamine. Once the agent left the meeting with the defendant, DEA agents executed an arrest warrant on Canales-Mendoza and a search warrant on his place of business, where they confiscated approximately 137 grams of methamphetamine.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, and the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Brandon Carter and Sydney Butler prosecuted the case for the United States.Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.